Every fall, a bevy of prognosticating organizations publish their predictions in magazine form for the upcoming college football season. If you’re unfamiliar, these publications lay out important team information like players departing, players returning, and other vital nuggets pertaining to the upcoming season. These organizations then use that info to rank every single FBS team accordingly. While ranking teams is the majority of their business model, they sometimes rank other items pertaining to college football as well. No topic is off limits either, anything from stadium aesthetics to the town a college is located in have been analyzed and ranked in the past. Athlon Sports is one of the more popular organizations built upon predicting and ranking, and they’ve recently released their rankings for all 125 FBS head coaches.
To me personally, it’s odd that Stoops is even ranked given that he’s never actually coached a game as head coach, but Athlon still thought he was worthy of the 71st overall spot. In the short bio for Kentucky’s new head man, Steven Lassan of Athlon wrote the following.
The newest kid on the SEC block, Stoops’ future as a head coach is anyone’s guess. What we do know is this: He hails from Youngstown, Ohio and played defensive back for Iowa before he worked his way up through the ranks. Stoops was a defensive coordinator for Houston then Miami then Arizona (with his brother, Mike) and ultimately Florida State in 2010. He took the 108th-ranked defense and turned it into the 42nd-rated unit in one season before finishing fourth and second nationally in total defense in 2011 and ’12 respectively. He did a great job finishing the recruiting cycle for the Wildcats, but at one of the toughest power conference jobs in the nation, it takes more than a few recruiting wins to be successful in Lexington.
Athlon’s entire rankings, which see Nick Saban in the top spot, can be found here.